BWW Review: CM Performing Arts Center presents PHANTOM at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre
In a superb offering, Oakdale's CM Performing Arts Center (CMPAC) presents Phantom at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre. Not to be mistaken for the famous Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Phantom Of The Opera, this is a different take - though based on the same novel - that gives us more insight into who the Phantom, the man, is. Running through November 3rd, Ashley Nicastro directs and choreographs this boffo incarnation.
CMPAC vets Katie Ferretti and Brian Gill lead the wonderful cast as Christine and the Phantom. Playing up her quiet confidence and at the same time naive nature, Ms. Ferretti is terrific as Christine Daae' while Mr. Gill strongly portrays the Phantoms' demons and life-long frustrations. In particular, an audience favorite is their rendition of "You Are Music" done with great chemistry and masterful operatic voices. Also part of the top notch cast is Emily Nadler portraying the feisty and controlling diva Carlotta and Ralph D'Ambrose portraying her opportunistic husband Cholet. Another audience favorite is Ms. Nadler's commanding performance of "This Place Is Mine" as they are the new owners of the famed Paris Opera House.
The entire cast is truly top-notch as is Ms. Nicastro creative team.
Patrick Grossman, Artistic Director of the Long Island venue, designs the smart and effective set. A dark and dreary feel (or, the lower level of the opera house) with movable pieces make for (mostly) seamless scene changes. This is enhanced stunningly by Alison Weinberger's lighting and the lovely costumes designed by Ronald Green III. And of course, it is always thrilling to hear an amazing live orchestra headed up by Matthew W. Surico. In truth, the whole production is really visually stunning.
And so, Phantom is certainly another hit for the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre. A gripping story and a fantastic cast make for a wonderful night of theatre.
CM Performing Arts Center presents Phantom at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre of Oakdale, Long Island, through November 3rd. For more information and to order tickets, please call (631) 218-2810 or visit www.cmpac.com
Book by Arthur Kopit, Music & Lyrics by Maury Yeston, Direction & Choreography by Ashley Nicastro, Musical Direction by Matthew W. Surico, Stage Management by Amanda Wenchel, Lighting Direction by Alison Weinberger, Sound Design by Nicollette Carosi, Costumes by Ronald Green III, Set Design by Patrick Grossman
Starring Katie Ferretti, Brian Gill, David DiMarzo, Gregg Sixt, Ralph D'Ambrose, Emily Nadler, Barry Johnson, and Brendan Noble with Philip Colburn, Ariel Colon, Erich Grathwohl, Juliana Jagielo, Zak Ketcham, Meaghan Lakios, Andrew Lenahan, Tiffany Morales, Katelyn Murray, Emily Sarra, Mike Shapiro, Tiara Solorzano, Mark Tarantino, Julianna Viola, Matt Healey, and Christian Kalinowski
Photo Credit: Ashley Nicastro